ASIS&T 2006 START Conference Manager    

Education for Digital Librarianship: Employers? Needs and How They Can Be Addressed. SIG ED and SIG DL

June Abbas, Youngok Choi, Javed Mostafa, Kristine Brancolini, Jeffrey Pomerantz, Abby Clobridge

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


Introduction In digital library communities, librarians and information professionals have played a leading role in continuing their tradition of providing information and services. The demand for their role is expanding and will continue so with the success of digital library efforts. However, despite the increasing need for the roles librarians play in the digital era, there is a shortage of experienced staff. Over the past 15 years, there has been a significant investment of public and private funding in research on the establishment of digital libraries. However, there has only recently been any significant investment in research on or development of methods for educating digital librarians or identification of DL ?best practices? that can be disseminated among existing digital libraries. To benefit from our investments in the development of DLs, we now need to make significant investments in the education of information professionals who fully understand the processes by which DLs are developed and their users are supported, as well as the potential of DLs to provide novel information services. The need for innovation in the education of digital librarians is clear. Most recently, a study being conducted by Choi and Rasmussen has investigated the specific knowledge and skills needed in digital libraries, as they are expressed in the ACRL online job board and the job ads placed in College & Research Libraries News, 1999-2003. From this research, we can determine the goals for the education of digital librarians. However, there are many ways to address these goals. This panel will present several alternatives for the panelists and audience to discuss together. Scope and Format The stage for discussion will first be set by Dr. Choi presenting a brief overview of their study of the competencies required of digital librarians. As noted above, they will base their comments on a content analysis of job advertisements posted for digital library positions. In addition, they will contrast these findings with the findings from a survey of current practitioners involved in digital library programs in academic and research libraries. The remaining panelists will respond to these research results, each presenting a different approach to providing education in digital librarianship. The specific contributions of each panelist are described below. Once the alternative perspectives are outlined, the audience will be invited to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each and the situations in which each is most appropriate

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